21 - 24 JUNE 2021 / EDITION N°32


Sunny Side of the Doc

#SSD19 International Networks Standing Up for Science!

In 2019, Sunny Side of the Doc calls on the international doc community to Stand Up for Science!

At a time when fake news is on the rise, high quality scientific reporting has never been more essential. It’s your opportunity to join the conversation and demonstrate our commitment to clear, unbiased, independent and innovative science storytelling.

Each June, Sunny Side of the Doc creates unique opportunities for the most exciting non-fiction concepts to be pitched in front of 300 top-level international buyers, commissioners and distributors. Key international broadcasters and platforms choose La Rochelle as the place to meet producers and communicate their programming needs and channel strategies.

So we’ve contacted confirmed Decision Makers looking for high-quality science programming for a one-question interview:

How is your network/platform standing up for science, engaging with younger audiences and/or enhancing new forms of science communication ?

Bernadette McDaid – National Geographic

Vice President of Production, Science, Discovery Communications

National Geographic has an unparalleled legacy of scientific enquiry, exploration and adventure. Since its inception 131 years ago, the Society has been introducing the world to incredible discoveries on multiple levels and to new ways of thinking. National Geographic Channel is closely aligned with the Society’s mission and builds on that legacy with highly entertaining, premium scientific content that appeals to global audiences. We are able to offer our audience a true 360 experience of a story, the linear channel is complemented by our world-class magazine, books, videos, events, kids initiatives, travel business and our award-winning digital and social platforms

National Geographic’s Instagram account @NatGeo recently became the first brand to exceed 100 million followers, thanks our community of loyal fans. This makes us the number one brand on Instagram. Combined with the fact that we’re also the largest TV channel on Facebook, we have a unique voice that speaks to all ages. This is a responsibility we take seriously.  We believe that by better understanding the world around us and our place in it, we will take better care of it

With that in mind, it’s important to note that 27% of the channel’s proceeds are funneled back into the Society’s non-profit works. This means that being a fan of our content directly helps fund vital scientific work.


Marita Hübnger – ZDF

Head of commissioning department

Xenius is our science magazine programme in a 26-minute format, broadcast from Monday through Friday and addressing a family audience. Plus, we have a dedicated time slot for 52-minute documentaries that give a dynamic view of scientific subjects on Saturdays at about 10pm. They treat all kind of science matters (health, pollution, climate change, new technologies…) close to lifetime experiences of our audience.
A new form of science communication is under construction and in development. We are focused on a new form on web-series and web-documents for the online-platforms.


Krishan Arora – SBS Australia

International Content Consultant

SBS has commissioned and acquired programmes on science from producers around the world since it began – it’s a large part of our mission to reflect our changing world. And with fresh approaches from new and established voices, we try and bring in as wide an audience as possible.
Our website keeps our audience in touch as well as linking to a range of science programmes on our channels and on-demand platform.


Christina Herssebroick – ARD/MDR

Coproduction, Acquisition

Our network stands up for science with a weekly science-podcast, a YouTube-weekly video and a very innovative approach featuringMr Wissen 2 go”.


And you, how do you Stand Up for Science ? Tell us more and share ideas at network@sunnysideofthedoc.com !
We look forward to hearing from you before the 30th anniversary edition of Sunny Side of the Doc from 24-27 June 2019.

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